Autumn always begins for us in the northern hemisphere in September.
This year it will take place at 9:54 pm on Saturday the 22nd. This will mark the end of a long hot summer because nights will cool and become more transparent even when they are shorter, already on their way Against the winter.
The equinoxes of autumn and horse are both interesting days on earth because they mark the only two days each year as the sun rises to the east and sets westward to all on earth except the poles. Within a few days, the equinoxes are also the only two days each year, which is exactly 12 hours long for all on earth except the poles. The reason for it is our little elliptical path around the sun and our 23.5 degree slope on our shoulder.
The day is always 1
Highlights of this month include all four of the brightest planets that are still visible in our evening sky at the same time. There will also be some nice conjunctions of the moon with all these planets, but no good meteor cities to the next month.
Venus is the brightest of the four and the first to settle in the west, about an hour after sunset. Note that there will only be a degree to the left of Spica in the Virgin at the beginning of this month. Our sister planet is still lighter in our heaven because it continues to catch up with us in its orbit. We have already passed our second neighbor, Mars, but both are still much closer to Earth than usual. Venus continues to get brighter even when it is less enlightened by the sun. It is only 18 percent illuminated, which is similar to a decreasing month, at the end of the month.
Then continue east along the ecliptic and you will encounter Jupiter in Vågen, just a constellation east of Venus. Notice that Venus will come into contact with Jupiter during the month and close that gap to only 14 degrees at the end of it. Jupiter has been back to his direct eastern movement in the sky since mid July. Then the king of the planet continues to fade a bit more as we move further. It begins the month setting around 10 o'clock and ends the month setting 2 hours earlier.
Jupiter is still very close to a double star in Libra with the long Arab name Zubenelgenubi, but it goes far further away from this star, whose name means the "southern claw". The Libra used to be part of Scorpius, the next constellation to the east.
Then continue east along the 30 degree eclipse, the largest gap between any of the four planets now visible, and you will encounter Saturn in Sagittarius. The rings are still tilted open close to their maximum 27 degrees, although it is slowly lowered, as it is a few months over its resistance now. You can easily see his biggest moon, Titan, through a telescope and you can even see four or five moons on a good night.
The last of this great planet show that has been with us all summer is Mars. The red planet was the best in 15 years just last month, but it will still be much lighter and bigger than normal for a few more months. It even became brighter than Jupiter last month but Mars will fade a little more this month and become less bright than Jupiter again in the 7th time when the Earth is now farther ahead of the red planet in our fast circulation around the sun.  I could see some detail on the Mars surface by several telescopes last month. I could see some dark markings and a hint to both northern and southern polar ice capsules. I did not see any of Martian's atmosphere this time because of some global dust storms that cover much of its surface.
There will be four close moonconstructions with the planets this month as the moon will point out each of the planets as they move on their designated paths along the eclipse. We start with the little crescent pointing out Venus on the 12th, then it will be only 4 degrees north of Jupiter the 13th, then only 2 degrees north of Saturn on the 17th and finally it will end this bike 5 degrees north of March the 20th. The moon moves around 12 degrees east along the ecliptic every day.
I participated in the annual Stellafane Convention last month. This is the oldest and one of the world's largest star parties. Nearly 1,000 eager amateur astronomers attended this summer. It was kept under the top of Perseid meteor shower and near new moon. This is an annual pilgrimage for a diverse group of people who share a common interest. Everyone learns new things there and shares new experiences as they look through hundreds of large telescopes in the sky above, and always get new views on our familiar sky and the myriad content as we expand our cosmic perspective on where we really are all the time. 19659002] There are practical workshops and many great presentations for everyone. I participated in astrophotography, light pollution, moving stars and binoculars. The main speaker was Samuel Hale, grandson of George Ellery Hale, the most famous telescope manufacturer in the world, who designed and built the four largest telescopes in the world from 1898 to 1938.
Todd Mason also gave a good presentation. He made the documentary "Journey to Palomar" and now creates computer graphics of the largest new telescopes in the world to show people how they look and how they will really work when they're done. These include the large synoptic survey telescope that will find thousands of potentially dangerous asteroids, the Giant Magellan Telescope with its seven-mirror segments equal to 25 meters and the Extremely Large Telescope with a 39 meter mirror, almost 4 times the largest telescope in the world today. They should see the first light within seven years or so and they are likely to completely revolutionize our current limited understanding of our universe.
Sept. 3: This day 1976, Viking 2 landed on Mars, just a few weeks after the Viking 1.
Sept. 9: New moon is at 2:03
Sept. 12: The moon will be close to Venus tonight.
Sept. 13: The moon will be close to Jupiter tonight.
Sept. 16: First quarter moon is at 19:16
Sept. 17: The moon is near Saturn tonight.
Sept. 20: The rising gibben moon will be close to Mars tonight.
Sept. 22: Autumn starts today at 9:54 as the sun is crossing over the celestial equator.
Sept. 23: J. Galle discovered Neptune on this day in 1846. Two other astronomers calculated exactly where this planet should be based on its influence on other planets. Neptune is best in Aquarius now, but you need a telescope to see it. It had only made a circulation in 2011, 165 years after it was discovered.
Sept. 24: Full Moon is at 10:54 This is the famous Harvest Moon because it is closest to the equinox.
Bernie Reim of Wells is co-director of the Astronomical Society of Northern New England.